Another Day. Another Year.
This article is published in the FFC feature on RogerEbert.com
Mike Leigh’s Another Year (2010) is like a tender, swollen, beating heart that you hold within your palms: the soft flesh expands and contracts with every breath, and through the tiny crevices in between your fingers, life juices flow.
“Life is not always kind, is it?”
Gerri looks at Mary and quietly let those words slip. Mary catches her gaze, briefly. The letters settle over them like a mild fog, unmistakably present and non-disruptive, and the day proceeds on as it does.
Another day. Another year.
Through uncanny realism and probing characters, Leigh’s latest film speaks of the pervasive dilemma of our kind: how do we live in this world in the presence of those so different and similar to ourselves at once? How do we make sense of each of our own way of life?
What a question.
Such a universal question requires no less a spectrum of responses, and here Leigh displays them all at once: unfolding, progressing, occasionally infringing upon each others’ space, occasionally crossing trajectories; and always, after a gentle readjustment, each proceeds onwards steadily as before with nothing short of a gentle benevolence. Change is not so easily undertaken as spoken.